These 4 States Need to Go Back into Lockdown Now, Virologist Says
COVID-19 cases are rising in several states, but these four have one doctor particularly concerned.
After months in lockdown, reopening is in full swing in many states, as Americans emerge from quarantine anxious to get back any semblance of the life they knew prior to the coronavirus pandemic. And while certain states have seen their rate of new cases stabilize—and in some places, decline—plenty of others have watched numbers climb steadily in recent weeks. According to one medical expert, there are even a handful of states where the situation is so precarious that the only solution may be an immediate return to lockdown.
Speaking to Best Life about the four states she recently named on Twitter, Angela Rasmussen, PhD, a virologist at Columbia University in New York City, said: "Effectively, these states reopened as if coronavirus was completely gone from their communities, which was not the case, and which is why they have returned to upward trajectories indicating increased community transmission."
Read on to learn more about the states causing Rasmussen and other medical experts to worry that we've yet to see the worst the coronavirus has to offer. And for two places that doctors say you should steer clear of even after reopening, check out This One Thing Makes Churches and Bars Equally as High Risk for Coronavirus.
North Carolina has seen a troubling trend of rising hospitalizations due to coronavirus since the Memorial Day holiday weekend. And on June 16, the state reached a one-day high with 829 patients currently hospitalized with COVID-19, according to numbers released by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, The News & Observer reports.
The state is scheduled to move into Phase 3 of its reopening plan next week, and while no plans to postpone doing so have been announced, state officials say they will make an official decision next week based on how things continue to progress.
"We have a lot of our businesses that are open and a lot of things that are pushing our economy along," Gov. Roy Cooper said in a press conference on Monday. "We still have some restrictions that potentially we can ease. We're looking at these numbers and we're concerned about them." And for more problem areas in the U.S., check out 6 States That Are Running Out of Hospital Beds.
In its sister state, things aren't looking much better. Based on numbers released by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, the local CBS affiliate News19 reported that the state set a new daily record on June 14 with 799 new cases of coronavirus. And Reuters reported an 86 percent increase in new cases during the second week of June. That brings the statewide total to nearly 19,380 cases and more than 600 deaths.
As is the case with the other states on this list, South Carolina is seeing hospitals come closer to reaching capacity, Rasmussen says. "That suggests widespread community transmission, which is very difficult if not impossible to contain without strict lockdowns," she explains. And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Since reopening in mid-May, Arizona has been in headlines as both new cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations due to the disease have been climbing at rate that's been described by some experts as "alarming." This continues to be the case, as June 16 marks the first time the state has reported more than 2,000 new cases in a single day, according to official state data, AZ Central reported.
Though public health officials have repeatedly voiced their concern about the situation in Arizona, state officials have said nothing to indicate that a return to lockdown or restrictions of any kind are in the works. And to learn about a preventive measure many aren't willing to take, check out The One Thing 71 Percent of Americans Wouldn't Do to Curb Coronavirus.
As of the morning of June 16, the Alabama Department of Public Health reported 26,524 total cases of coronavirus and 779 deaths in the state—driving hospitalizations up to 640 from 576 the day prior. Reuters also reported that Alabama saw 5,115 new coronavirus during the week ending June 14—a 116.6-percent jump from the week prior. However, despite rising numbers since reopening and hospitals approaching capacity, the Montgomery Advertiser reports that Gov. Kay Ivey made a statement saying that there are no plans to reinstate lockdown restrictions, which the state began lifting in May.